HEALTH & WELLBEING
Writer / Dreamer
Katoomba, Blue Mountains
Contact: [email protected]
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Earlier this year Erin Delaney revealed on Facebook a secret she'd kept from almost everyone. As a child she suffered physical and emotional abuse and severe neglect. The neglect had significant consequences, including a fractured skull from falling - which was only picked up when, after she vomited at school the next day, a member of her extended family intervened and took her to hospital.
Canada's revamped 2019 Food Guide centres on a simple yet arresting image: a plate filled with unprocessed, mostly plant-based foods. Dairy foods no longer have their own category, with the usual five food groups trimmed to just four.
In 2008 Martina McGrath had all the trappings of midlife success. "I was engaged to a wonderful partner, we owned our own home, I drove a fancy-schmancy car and had a kick-arse job earning well over $100,000," McGrath recalls. In the space of a year her fortunes had dramatically changed.
By Linda Moon Normal text size Larger text size Very large text size As a child in Bendigo, Jennifer Connor did not feel rural life was idyllic. Instead, she suffered panic attacks, insomnia, depression, anger, and a sense of isolation. "A lot of people had rabbits and chooks in their backyard," she recalls.
Credit: Julie Johnson Making the decision to have a child is a wonderful, life-changing moment in life. Having made that decision, the last thing you want is to have difficulty conceiving. Equally, you want the pregnancy to be as smooth, and the baby as healthy, as possible.
In Western countries, introverts have traditionally suffered from cultural bias that favours the outgoing. However, the underdog of personality typing is being re-framed in a positive light, thanks to a growing number of books, blogs and articles suggesting their superiority in skills important to society - like listening and empathy.
Like many, 50-year-old Jane Curnow credits overcoming depression to an absorbing hobby. Curnow was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 32 and had made two attempts on her life. "I had spent my entire adult life in and out of therapy," she says, explaining that her depression stemmed from life circumstances and low self-worth.
Many people report bloating and other health issues after eating bread, pasta and other gluten-containing foods. For decades, gluten, a naturally occurring protein in wheat, rye and barley, has been blamed as the culprit, spawning a billion dollar industry in gluten-free products.
With new research suggesting even light drinking might be bad for us, short of becoming a teetotaller, what should we choose at the bar? Quashing the merits of moderate alcohol consumption, a large-scale US study of light drinkers by Washington University School of Medicine, found one to two alcoholic drinks four or more times a week was associated with a 20 per cent increased risk of premature death.
With more of us fighting the bulge, but challenged to exercise and eat healthy, we're all on the lookout for that holy grail of weight loss. While that hasn't yet been discovered, researchers have discovered what may be a surprising and potentially easy way to reduce body fat - shifting our meal times.
Nearly three years ago flight attendant Jessica Manning was exposed to 21 hours of engine fumes aboard a flight. In the years that followed, the previously healthy Queenslander suffered persistent skin lesions, 75 per cent hair loss, vision deterioration, multiple chemical sensitivity, impaired short-term memory and cognitive function, liver and brain tumours, crippling fatigue and more.
When 42-year-old Rebecca Gibson gets home from work she likes to belt out a few '80s classic rock songs. The Newcastle nurse started using a karaoke app this year to improve her health problems, which include systemic lupus and fibromyalgia. "My job is very stressful and I have a lot of illness and trauma to heal," she says.
In the midst of attempting suicide, Peta Dampney suddenly realised she didn't want to die. "I remember having to talk myself through it to convince myself it was the right thing to do. It was such a beautiful, sunny day with a perfect blue sky." Then the 22-year-old called an ambulance.
Face yoga is the latest trend in the wellness industry.
Credit: Bigstock Able to survive fire and the grave, your teeth are unique, identifying you like a fingerprint. Like the rings of a tree, they're also a time capsule of information about your diet and lifestyle, reveals Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg in her 2016 book What Teeth Reveal About Human Evolution.
All you need to know about blue light, artificial light and sunlight.
Credit: Heather Barnes Consumed by humans throughout history and maligned by salad-haters as "rabbit food", leafy greens include some of the easiest-to-grow, most nutrient-dense yet inexpensive health foods on the planet. Consisting of the edible leaves of plants, these inauspicious wonder foods may also include the shoots (as in sprouts and micro-greens) and stalks (as in celery) of plants.
The daily cup of tea has many positive associations. Winding down (thought to be due to the relaxing presence of amino acid L-theanine), or winding up (thanks to caffeine's influence). Along with a dose of ritual comfort, there's also the health-giving benefits of herbal teas, lauded for antioxidants - the molecules that prevent free radical cell damage - and more.
Those symptoms after a long-haul flight might not be jet lag, but something more sinister, according to a study recently published by the World Health Organisation. The study confirms a link between chemical contaminants in aeroplane cabin air and chronic and acute health problems. While airline crew are most exposed to the risks, it's a health hazard and flight safety issue potentially affecting anyone onboard.
With insufficient sleep in the news as a health hazard, is it possible for those of us strapped for shut-eye by busy schedules to compensate by sleeping in on the weekend? A study published in the Journal of Sleep Research is one of few to look in-depth at the question.
Whether it's asking for a raise, giving a talk, blogging or advocating for others, speaking out in the public domain can be challenging. Tara Moss, author of Speaking Out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, provides tips to help us speak out safely and effectively.
A sleek, clutter-free kitchen has many benefits, but did you know it can also help you lose weight? Everything from the layout of your kitchen to the type of dinnerware you use, can have a subliminal effect on how much you eat.
Rather than reaching for comfort junk foods when we're feeling down, we should fuel our bodies with mood-protective foods . In a world first, an Australian research team has discovered a wholesome, healthy diet can lessen depression.
Squeaky clean? It might not be good for your skin. Australians have the status of being one of the cleanest nations on the planet.
The expletive that pops out when you stub your toe or are heaving a particularly heavy piece of furniture may have a purpose after all. Curiously, a bout of cussing can make you stronger and better able to endure pain, according to research presented this month to the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society by Dr Richard Stephens of Keele University.
In these ultra-connected times, being privy to all the problems of the world via our screens has its disadvantages. The news and those dystopian shows we tend to relax to at the end of the day can all add to a sense of gloom.
Unflavoured sparkling mineral water is the go-to choice for those who want to stay healthy but still enjoy a few fun bubbles. However, new research conducted by Birzeit University in Palestine has raised concerns the carbonated beverage may not be as slimming to our waistlines as we'd thought.
If supermarket labels spruiking fat-free claims are anything to go by, fat is a macronutrient we should handle with caution. That's an outdated health concern you might want to lose, according to ProfessorGrant Schofield, Dr Caryn Zinn and Craig Rodger, co-authors of Turning the food pyramid and conventional nutritional thought on its head, they recommend we eat more fat and reduce carbohydrates.
Move that body: regular exercise can help in the fight against depression. Photo: Stocksy More than three million Australians experience depression and/or anxiety each year, according to Beyond Blue. The cost of therapy (from $70-$150 an hour for an accredited counsellor to up to $235 and more for a one-hour psychology session), combined with the stigma of mental illness, can mean our psychic sufferings remain a private struggle.
The trend in standing and treadmill desks and walking meetings
Transform your home into a place that rejuvenates you after a stressful day in the world.
The sight of dirty dishes piled up on the sink is about as un-relaxing as it gets. But recent research suggests you need never look at the housework in the same negative light again. Household chores can officially be used as a way to chill out. Sound radical?
The season of your birth could have a lasting impact on your health.
Naturopath Linda Moon shows you how to tune into your psychic and intuitive powers so that you can make the most of the energies around you.
As one of the main sources of chemicals into the bodies, personal care products pose many health risks.
How summer impacts our health.
How to give fear the finger
The health benefits of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), a scientifically validated therapy popular in Japan.
There may be more lurking in that cup of chamomile tea than you bargained on.
"Winter is coming!" is the fearful catch-cry of TV series Game of Thrones. And historically, there's good reason to be afraid. In ancient communities, the months following the winter solstice were famine months. While starvation may not be something to fear in contemporary Australia, the season can have a profound effect on our well-being, influencing our mood, mental health, hormones, fertility, brain function and activity levels.
While most of us readily open up about our headaches, fatigue or toothaches, we're less up front about our bad breath. Recent market research commissioned by Sydney Holistic Dental Centre, found 72 per cent of Australian adults surveyed lived in fear of having bad breath.
You finally have some downtime. But, with life so under the pump, doing 'nothing' feels abnormal and stresses you out even more. In short, you suck at relaxing. Inability to switch off after work is on the rise, says author of The Off Switch , Dr Mark Cropley.
Once revered as Ra by the Egyptians, and prescribed as a health tonic in the mid 1900s, today many of us fear the sun - thanks to the hole in the ozone layer, global warming, skin cancer and the 'Slip, Slop, Slap' campaign.
Credit: Clarisse Meyer If you're a typical Westerner in the 21st century, you probably feel lonely - occasionally, often or even most of the time. But, unlike with other afflictions, we're not likely to confess our loneliness to others. However, loneliness hurts. Terribly.
A stint in the psych ward isn't something one might want to advertise to a prospective suitor. But it's precisely what 28-year-old Stefani Caminiti had to contend with when she started dating. Caminiti, who was formerly diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety at age 18, spent three months as an inpatient in a psychiatric unit after attempting suicide in 2013.
The perils of second women - marrying the man they love ... and his problems.
Our social lives are increasingly moving online. While interacting with each other through social media might seem harmless, experts believe its prevalence is directly linked to the growth in loneliness plaguing the young.
Living with the ex after a relationship ends (technically dubbed 'separated under one roof') is a growing phenomenon reported by an increasing number of divorce lawyers. The high cost of housing is the main factor, says family law specialist, Catherine Ross.
A decluttered interior is all the rage and good for our health. But what happens when our aspirations for domestic bliss are incompatible with our partner? Writer and mother Stacey Freeman believes fighting about household tidiness played a key role in why her ex-husband walked out of their marriage seven years ago.
In today's click-friendly world, about 4.5 million Australians hunt online for love every year, according to industry figures. On the surface it might seem easy to snare a potential mate from the virtual smorgasbord. But a common gripe from men is that women are too picky and dating sites are dominated by dudes.
"Can a 50-year-old frump look good in a wedding dress?" Someone called "joolz50" posed the question on a forum post dedicated to attire for the mature-age bride. Being in my 50s, and with my own big day looming, I also wanted to know. I too felt I lacked a comfy social identity (and frock) to slip into.
Single men are less interested in marriage and commitment than single women. Ironically, once married, females are more likely to break that commitment. While the gap is closing, self-reports of Australians divorcing suggest around 69 per cent of marriage break-ups might be initiated by the wife.
As the party invites of the season roll in, there are those we can't fit in. Others we regard with dread. Declining a social invitation should be easy, right? Why, then, do so many of us suffer angst over it? How can we decline and still save face, our integrity and relationships?
Representative of a growing trend, Jen Cole (now 26), bought her husband, Tomo, a watch as a surprise engagement gift. At the time, the Launceston-based former high-school sweethearts were 22 and 24 respectively. Ms Cole, a high school chaplain from Launceston, saved for a month to buy the Nixon 51-30 Chrono watch.
Being snubbed by someone you're with in favour of their mobile phone - known as 'phubbing' - is extremely irritating. This is well known. What's less known is that this all-too-common practice can also have a detrimental impact on the offender.
Negotiating money and finances in a new relationship is tricky enough, but doubly so when you have dependent children to bring into the mix. When Sophia, a separated working woman with one dependent child, decided to move in with Zac she worried how she'd survive financially without government assistance.
Senator Jordon Steele-John and Rachel Mead are at the forefront in the battle against discrimination based on physical ability and sexual orientation.
Job opportunities are out there for idealists and dreamers who want to change the world, writes Linda Moon.
Businesses and tourist attractions are helping change communities around Australia.
Wellness programs are becoming common in Australian workplaces - and for good reason. The average adult spends one-third of their life at work, so it makes sense to target health promotion strategies at the workplace. Increasingly, governments and the public are recognising the economic and social toll of poor physical and mental health at work.
With pressure from housing stress, debt and high living costs, FIRE, an American movement where followers save and invest at least 50 per cent of their income to retire early, is gaining followers in Australia. Popular with millennials, FIRE stands for "Financially Independent Retiring Early".
Chatting to the dead is all in a day's work for 53-year-old Debbie Malone. "I can see someone as clear as though they're alive. Sometimes they're a see-through blue sort of image," she explains. Her extraordinary, 25-year-long career has seen her strangled by a ghost, receiving messages from brutally murdered victims and working with police artists to produce identikits of criminals.
More than 37,000 Australians between 15 and 64 held a music qualification in 2009, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. However, those employed full-time in the field remains small. In the last census nearly 8000 Australians claimed to be full-time musicians (defined as instrumental musicians, singers, composers and music directors).
Job interviews can be challenging at the best of times, but when twenty-something Jayden Toukley had to perform rap in front of a group for a bookstore position, the experience felt more like a nightmare. "It was awkward," Jayden recalled. "It would have been awkward to refuse, so you just did it.
Technology is changing the face of farming and Australian researchers are at the forefront of farm robot intelligence worldwide. By gathering on-farm data for crop and livestock monitoring, they're working to reduce risk, increase yields and support small farmers by taking over repetitive manual tasks.
Best known as a regular cast member on Network Ten's The Living Room, 47-year-old property renovator, Cherie Barber, is a self-made multi-millionaire and founder of Renovating For Profit. But her start to life wasn't easy. Barber is the oldest daughter of an earth-moving tractor operator and stay-at-home mother who grew up Sydney's western suburbs.
There are people earning plenty without a degree.
When Jules Donovan and Sam Colligan needed capital to kick-start their business they turned to an unconventional but increasingly popular source of finance - crowdfunding. Crowdfunding involves raising lots of small pledges of money - generally via the internet - to help fund a project or venture.
With technology making it possible to work from anywhere in the world many of us fantasise about traveling or moving to dream locations while funding a livelihood from our laptop. It's a lifestyle generally associated with travel writing or high-paid IT and executive positions.
Full-time "virtual" executive assistant Ingrid Bayer only has to walk down the hall to work. "Most people don't know that I'm virtual - and I don't tell them," she says. "They wouldn't have a clue where I am." Bayer works from her home in Taree, NSW, and admits on freezing days she's been known to don fluffy slippers.
Disadvantaged young people are getting a leg up.
As technology revolutionises the way we work, occupational loneliness is emerging as a significant employment-related issue. But, with no centralised organisation or taskforce addressing the issue, few solutions have been offered. Research suggests it's a problem affecting a broad spectrum of the working population, including those working from home, in small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and employees with minimal face-to-face human interaction.
Before moving to Kingscliff, 32-year-old former executive assistant Martha Passos was a frequent tourist to the northern New South Wales beachside town. "When I noticed Santai Retreat was searching for a professional to head up their events and conference division I could not believe it," Passos says.
My career as a masseuse came about fortuitously, in my mid-30s, after I'd trained to be a naturopath. Despite being physically exhausting, I did it for 14 years; it was my favourite job and unlike any other I'd had.
When Melbourne-based, married father Leigh Garipidis started an internship at 41, people said he was taking a risk. Exchanging work experience for unpaid work, internships are typically more associated with young people than those in mid-life. After completing an advanced diploma in commercial photography at the Photography Studies College three years previously, Garipidis was mainly performing studio assistant work.
Credit: Swabdesign_official Mahatma Gandhi once said: "When I wake up, I am reborn." If you sleep poorly, you're more likely to feel strain and fatigue. Inadequate sleep and its consequences plague 33-45 per cent of adult Australians, according to a 2016 health report by the University of Adelaide and the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health.
When Amy Webster's sister, Margie, found her dream home in Balgowlah, NSW, there was one problem. It was totally out of her price range. "Then, we realised we could pool our resources and buy it together," Webster says. With housing affordability a national social and economic issue, should more siblings consider joining forces to get a slice of the property pie?
Credit: Daiga Ellaby Supporting a global industry worth tens of billions of dollars, our quest for a sparklingly clean, sweet-smelling home has spawned a vast array of products. But dig beneath the familiar, friendly packaging and marketing claims so many of us inherently trust and you'll find a scourge of chemical irritants, toxins and carcinogens.
Fuelled by books like Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, decluttering and minimalism have been held up as the path to household harmony. But, if the latest IKEA catalogue is anything to go by, we should embrace our stuff and stop stressing with the effort to attain perfect, minimalist interiors.
Credit: Joseph Perez With more of us turning to DIY paint jobs to beautify our spaces, it's important to look beyond colour swatches and trends to those often neglected health aspects. Fortunately, staying informed needn't involve rigorous study of technical manuals.
Credit: Sarah Dorweiler You've settled on a timber-look floor. But, at the shop, you're inundated by brands, colours, grains, sizes, finishes and species of wood. There's also engineered wood, floating wood, reclaimed wood, wood look-alike vinyl and tile, and environmentally sustainable bamboo to choose from.
Biophilic design encourages us to bring nature and its therapeutic benefits into the places we dwell most of the time: our homes and workplaces.
Whether it's a caravan or mansion, incorporating the principles of wabi sabi into your home can help you lead a more conscious, happy and purposeful life.
Can't sleep? Perhaps it's your bedroom. And the solution might be as simple as swapping those sheer curtains for some heavy light-blocking drapes. Regular insomnia plagues 13 to 33 per cent (up to a third) of Australians according to the Medical Journal of Australia - something to keep in mind when browsing the magazines or Pinterest for design ideas for your bedroom.
Naturopath, Linda Moon, describes how to create a garden designed to relax, revitalise and solve health problems.
In an era of infinite choice, the idea of packing up in pursuit of happier times tempts many of us. Yet for such an important decision, there is a surprising lack of research to guide us. What should we weigh up in making the choice?
When the landlord hiked their rent in May this year, Catherine Coomans, 28, and Tom Low, 31, took a creative approach to the housing affordability issue and decided to live life on the road.
Housing affordability and income are the major variables as to whether or not we own our own home. However, a 2016 report by American real estate site Trulia, suggests another potential piece of the puzzle - family history.
About six million (32 per cent of) Australians undertake minor improvements to their homes each year according to a recent Morgan Gallop Poll. With so many decisions at stake in selecting products for the home - from price and aesthetics to durability and environmental issues - it's easy for health considerations to slide.
Ever wondered about that friend who never invites you around? International research suggests "home shame" could be responsible. This rarely remarked upon social phenomena may be more prevalent and pervasive than many of us realise. Research commissioned by glue manufacturer Sugru, discovered 57 per cent of Britons surveyed were embarrassed about the state of their home.
Tapping into free DIY advice and training can save the home renovator money, reduce the overall cost of home improvements or make those projects a bit beyond the budget, attainable. More Australians are choosing to improve their living surroundings by renovating rather than moving house, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
Touted as tough and environmentally friendly, with the stylishness of timber at a cheaper price, bamboo flooring is all the rage. Considered the "new timber", bamboo is relatively new to the Australian scene, and not so well understood by consumers. How well do the claims about bamboo stack up?
Amid the financial pressures of soaring housing prices, HECS debts and childcare costs, many young adults, and some older ones, have had to re-think expectations about their own nest. Increasingly, that nest is a smaller one within their parent's home.
PLANET & ENVIRONMENT
Credit: Ishan Seefromthesky Stained and weathered like an ancient giant, the Mount Titlis glacier prods the heavens of central Switzerland. Even in this icy, otherworldly realm, surrounded by the Alps of nearby Germany, France and Italy, and 3238 metres above sea level, nature cannot escape the ravages of global warming and a changing climate.
The blue macaw parrot, which inspired the movie Rio, is highly likely extinct in the wild, according to the results of a recently released eight-year The blue macaw parrot, which inspired the movie Rio, is highly likely extinct in the wild, according to the results of a recently released eight-year study.
With Australia's major supermarkets banning the plastic bag it's a good time to get on board #PlasticFreeJuly. The initiative, whereby people pledge to reduce plastic from their lives for a month, is a great opportunity to learn about plastic-free eco alternatives beyond the tote bag.
Cinematic views and big scenery are the South Island’s main currency, and a self-guided road trip is the most popular way to enjoy them.
Lined by medieval towns and shining mountains, the lakes of Switzerland offer a welcome point of difference to the usual seaside escapes. Linda Moon indulges in five of the best lakeside reveries. Tinkling and streaming through mountain and meadow, water is omnipresent in Switzerland.
Internationally renowned for mining, the Pilbara in Australia's far west, has a lesser known spiritual and feminine side.
While places like Phuket, Fiji and Bali are popular tropical travel destinations for cost-conscious Australians, better beaches and world-class snorkelling are on our own doorstep in the Whitsundays. Despite the association with high-end, palm-treed, white-sand luxury, our World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and islands can be enjoyed inexpensively.
Packing is one of the biggest stresses related to travel, according to a 2012 US study. Unsurprisingly, more than two-thirds of couples fought while packing, while women over-packed by about 50 per cent, a survey conducted by British travel website Holiday Hypermarket found.
Passing lakes, Alps and meadows, a Switzerland train journey through the Bernese Oberland allows you to sit back and watch the scenery roll by, writes Linda Moon. After taking in the delights of the fairytale lake city Lucerne, I'm standing at its train platform bound for my next adventure.
When boatsman, Dougie, plucks an iceberg out of the water, Angeline is thrilled to hold it. New Zealand's South Island offers opportunity aplenty for children to venture into the kind of epic scenery usually glimpsed on the big screen, says Linda Moon Staring from the window, I'm as mesmerised as a child in Jurassic World.
Australians with winter cabin fever might consider a more economical way to warm up than flying north for the winter - visiting a hot spring or onsen. Here's our roundup of the best places - from zen pools to tropical waterholes - to take the plunge into warm waters.
Best known for its Alps, Switzerland is also blessed with a bounty of pure glacial melt and geothermal groundwater. Go for the spas but stay for the scenery.
Remote, fragrant and graced with Jurassic-era scenery and magical lagoons, Moorea is the subject of the first-ever scientific inventory of an entire ecosystem.
Not far from the big smoke's well-trodden streets lie the heights of the NSW Central Tablelands and a bounty of natural wonders just waiting to be discovered.
Food and Ecotourism in the Entlebuch Biosphere, Switzerland
Central West NSW
Pursuing our soul purpose can be another reason to take a holiday break
Hot springs across Australia
Cycling through shining maples in the country under a fair blue sky trumps driving through traffic with hundreds of commuters headed to the usual places.
The frustration of being disconnected from the internet on a long-haul flight could soon be a thing of the past for Australian travellers, with several local airlines planning to roll out in-flight Wi-Fi. Qantas plans to have the technology installed by late February, and Virgin Airlines is expected to follow suit later in the year.
Switzerland's World Heritage-listed Lavaux wine region is home to some of the oldest, and most picturesque vineyards in the world.
Resplendent with stunning alpine views, wild snow monkeys and hot springs, Kamikochi is the perfect location to refresh the body and soul.
In contrast to bustling Tokyo, a visit to Ogimachi in central Japan provides a timeless glimpse into remote village life in the Middle Ages
Halong Bay is millions of years old but a new Wonder of Nature.
Imbued with myth, Tahiti and her 13 fellow isles of the Society Island archipelago offer much more than just another tropical island paradise. After your eyes have adjusted to the electric blue water, delve into the unique sights, scents, flavours and experiences that have enticed people from Fletcher Christian to Marlon Brando.
After a brief drive through jungle style rainforest you come to its' broad avenue of deciduous trees and stately gardens, as if to a surprise or a dream. For this patch of England seems unlikely, sequestered as it is within rainforest gums and tree ferns.
Beyond sushi and karaoke, Japan is a land of paradox and surprise, intriguing the traveler with its mix of modernity and tradition, big city mania and natural beauty. Dig beyond the cliches and you'll discover some of the most exquisite experiences to be had anywhere on the planet.
At the junction of Lake Lucerne and the Reuss river is Lucerne, as lovely as any fairytale city. Legend tells that a light showed people of the 7 th century where to build the first chapel here, while according to myth, dragons inhabit the peaks of nearby Mount Pilatus, 2,128m at its highest.
There are cities we visit; others that capture our hearts like lovers. Hoi An with its twinkling lanterns, lazy emerald river and ancient laneways is surely one of the latter.
Cruises are a popular way to relax and experience a diverse holiday. If you're a first-timer, here are 5 things to avoid - WYZA
As the coach rounds the steep bends of the road, I spot glimpses of snow on lofty, faraway mountains. In the foreground, sunlight filters through dramatic stands of sombre fir forest. There are only a few couples and families with me on the Mount Titlis day tour, an approximately 90-minute trip from Zurich via Lucerne to the 3020-metre Mount Titlis Glacier Park.
Thousands of tourists visit every year to experience sweeping views of the ancient landscape from lookouts, bushwalking and seasonal events like Yulefest (Winter in July), spring and autumn garden festivals.
As NSW's first official 'Slow Town' Katoomba is building a reputation for slow food and a place to get away from it all.
The secret sights of the Blue Mountains
No photograph can do it justice, nor prepare you for the magical sight of its sparkling countenance hovering in mega 3D.
There's a moment of fear as I stare at the platform far away. An abyss of trees stretches between me and the other side. With my partner about to climb up behind me, there's no choice but to go on. The next moment I'm flying over the treetops, my feet skimming leaves and scraping branches. Releasing a ninja type whoop of euphoria, I land with a thump on the platform at the top of a tree. Alive.
Not the Valley of the Kings, but with equivalent drama, majesty and enchantment. This Best Walk of the Blue Mt's stars bountiful waterfalls, soaring rock escarpments, mini caves and rainforest canopies that combine in an unforgettable experience of the ancient natural landscape of the Blue Mountains.
Trees in delectable shades of peach, plum and lemon, mild weather, blue skies beyond the curtains of coloured leaves, picnics on the grass. This guide tells you where to find the best spots to enjoy autumn in the Blue Mountains. Just be sure to make it before winter.
More Australians are lured to New Zealand than any other international destination. And no wonder. Just a relatively quick flight across the Tasman Sea, the South Island offers the Aussie traveller scenery rivaling anything in Switzerland or Canada at a fraction of the cost.
Forget the Maldives. Some of the best snorkelling in the world is in Australia's watery backyard.
At 41,000 square kilometres, about two-thirds the size of Tasmania, it's blissfully possible to see the diversity of Switzerland in a relatively short time. Linda Moon joins Tourism Switzerland's Grand Tour to check out the best sights of the country...
For some, camper-vanning is a bucket-list goal. Others are lured by the practical advantages - which range from saving money on accommodation and meals to the flexibility of being able to customise your own trip. There's plenty of quality time with your co-travellers, and the freedom to follow your whimsy.
The schoolgirl was swimming in the shallows in the Whitsundays when the shark struck last September. She lost her leg in the attack. A day later, a Tasmanian mother of two was bitten, and had 18 hours of surgery. In November, a young Melbourne doctor was also attacked while holidaying in the same area, Cid Harbour.
Tasteless and shrouded in mystery, airline meals are the butt of jokes and the element of travel we all love to hate. But what are the facts behind the most maligned food on the planet? Blame it on altitude. Dining at 30,000 to 40,000 feet (the average cruise altitude of commercial planes), impairs our taste and smell receptors.
On the approach of its' 90th anniversary, The Ghan has come a long way since its beginnings as a camel route in the 1830s. An iconic, world famous rail journey, it offers a relaxing experience of Australia's unique, ancient outback with all the mod cons and richness of history.
FOOD & FARMING
Indigenous women are harvesting food from the outback and sparking a renaissance in traditional tucker for a new generation.
Adding his latest finding, an iodine-rich Tasmanian seaweed, to his database of 29,270 plants, 72-year-old Bruce French is close to cataloguing every possible edible plant on our planet.
Bringing zen to mealtimes can enhance our health, wellbeing, relationships and more.
Explores the rise in gluten free eating. How healthy is it and is gluten the real enemy or something else?
Over the last decade raw food has moved beyond the private kitchen of the health junkie. Boosted by the popularity of green smoothies and cold-pressed juices, foodie entrepreneurs are fashioning food creations under the banner of raw food, and championing fresh, local produce.
Mounting hepatitis cases linked to frozen berries supplied by frozen desserts and pie manufacturer Patties Foods is another in a long list of food blights fuelling consumer distrust in "big food" companies. Aided by consumer movements and the information explosion, fed up consumers are turning in greater numbers towards local food.
For something so commonplace and unsexy, salt has a riveting past. Building and destroying economies, prompting wars, salt has also driven the development of civilisation through its role in food preservation, travel, trade, religion and culture.
Reconnecting us to our food source, the Slow Food Movement could have vast implications from improving our health to solving world hunger.
The edge of the Simpson desert might seem an unlikely location for growing food. According to Ben Wall, co-founder of the Tamara Date Co-operative, it's perfect for growing dates.
A line-up of intolerance friendly, vegan, raw and sugar-free treats across the nation.
The Australian producers making ice cream for vegans
Have fashionable diets, cooking shows and #foodporn messed with out nutritional moral compass.
The rise of the 'new' dairy foods - ice-cream, cheese, butter, sour cream and yoghurt without the cow.
Technology is changing the face of farming and Australian researchers are at the forefront of farm robot intelligence worldwide. By gathering on-farm data for crop and livestock monitoring, they're working to reduce risk, increase yields and support small farmers by taking over repetitive manual tasks.
With its understanding of the soil as a living entity, biodynamic farming methods could heal the earth.
Carlo Laruccia, 42, a former chief financial officer from Melbourne, never imagined in his wildest dreams he'd attempt to end his own life. Now an ambassador for Beyondblue and speaker for Sane Australia and Well Ways, he's one of several suicide survivors sharing their stories to break down stigma and promote community openness on the topic in order to save lives.
Estimated to be worth $2.6 billion in NSW alone, the sharing economy is booming. Those in NSW generating income from the sector doubled to 92,400 people in the year to 2016, according to the latest report by Deloitte.
Wage restraint, welfare cuts, and a free market have been traditionally rationalised by conservative governments as essential measures to build a strong economy.
The Fair Work Commission's slashing of penalty rates exposes the powerlessness of Australia's underclass: its casualised workforce. This growing group, especially vulnerable to poverty, is often forgotten in key economic debates, including the current one raging over weekend wages. Ask any casual worker: it's a precarious and powerless existence.
Close friends who had never given an inkling they suffered from the disease suddenly fessed up to secret stashes of anti-depressant medication. I wondered why people who had shared such intimate revelations as their child abuse had never been able to tell me about their depression.
My only child played with her toys in her room, while on the screen of her iPad, another little girl also played. Watching from the door, a range of emotions rocked me: pity, guilt, fascination and a fair dose of anxiety.
When Rachel Stone's five-year-old learned Santa wasn't real from a friend on a playdate it led to a fallout between the respective mothers. "When I spoke to her mum she said she'd ask her again not to," Rachel reported. "But her child is only 7 so she can't control what she says.
Making a will in a blended family
The number of birthday parties children attend each year increasingly dominate the lives of their parents. Organising gifts and costumes for such occasions, not to mention the expense and prepararion associated with birthday celebrations for their own offspring, can leave parents feeling less than enthusiastic about recieving yet another invite home from school.